Trini, un nuevo sabor… para la comunicación

Cuando Barack Obama visitó Battle Creek, en Michigan, durante la campaña presidencial de las elecciones de 2008, el senador estatal Mark Schauer le regaló una caja de cereales en la que aparecían él y Biden junto al famoso tigre Tony de Kellogg’s… compañía que está presente en la ciudad. Aunque no quedó muy claro si era un producto oficial de la compañía o no, lo cierto es que Obama agradeció el gesto y lo tomó con humor. Algo parecido le ha pasado a la ministra de Sanidad y precandidata en las primarias del PSM. Pero lo suyo no son los cereales, sino el zumo de frutas.

Ha sido en el marco de esta contienda en el que un diseñador ha visto en Trinidad Jiménez el nuevo sabor para Madrid. La similitud entre el nombre por el que es conocida, Trini, y una conocida marca de refrescos, ha llevado al profesional a crear una nueva imagen que coincide con el propio objetivo político de Jiménez y su candidatura: dar un nuevo sabor, un nuevo aire, al PSM y a la Comunidad de Madrid. La anécdota quedaría ahí si no fuera por el gesto que tuvo la ministra al recibir un delantal con esa imagen en un acto este fin de semana. Al igual que Obama, no dudó en agradecer el gesto y posar con él, con una franca sonrisa.

La imagen es de esas que hablan solas. En campaña un candidato puede hacer muchas cosas, pero las que salen del alma son las que valen. Y es que esa imagen es perfecta para ilustrar un gran artículo de Antoni Gutiérrez-Rubí: Los tristes no ganan elecciones (ni lideran, ni seducen, ni convencen).

Seguramente ese sea uno de los puntos que más fortaleza dan a la ministra: transmite simpatía y afabilidad. Algo que el ciudadano de a pie percibe. Por ello es una de las ministras mejor valoradas del ejecutivo de Zapatero. Y quizás por los nubarrones que le plantaron en la campaña municipal de 2003, Jiménez no consiguió hacerse valer ante su primo y rival, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón.

No es baladí pararnos en aquella anécdota, la famosa chupa de cuero que la puso en el ojo del huracán. Polémica fotografía de campaña en que algunos vieron un exceso de erotismo. Otros, la identificación de valores políticos masculinos –agresividad, dureza-. Y entre uno y otro, una polémica desatada por El Mundo cuando el PSOE procedió a retirar los carteles de la chupa. Chupa que, tal y como desvela Juan Campmany en “El efecto ZP”, eligió la propia Trini.

Con delantal o con chupa, Trini tiene la suerte de transmitir elementos muy necesarios en la comunicación política del futuro que empieza a tejerse en el presente que nos está tocando vivir. Con la anécdota de la chupa de cuero dio en el clavo de lo qué ocurrió realmente: a una mujer candidata se le exigen cosas que a un hombre candidato ni se le plantean. Demostró que el liderazgo político en femenino es distinto y necesario en un mundo plagado de líderes testosterónicos. Por cierto, la base del liderazgo de Esperanza Aguirre, muy parecido al de la Dama de Hierro. Jiménez es abierta, afable y optimista. Sonrisa en boca. Una comunicación emocional y empática.

Pero en político no todo se basa en esas capacidades. Gómez, el secretario general del PSM y su enemigo en la lucha por la candidatura, es un hombre que ha trabajado duro los últimos tres años recorriendo las calles de la Comunidad para explicar el proyecto socialista y conocer los problemas de los ciudadanos. Algo de lo que, por cierto Jiménez también ha sido partícipe como miembro de la Ejecutiva. Pero Tomás Gómez es un hombre que sonríe poco y comunica menos. Quizás ahí esté parte de la explicación de las famosas encuestas que llevaron a Zapatero a apuntar a Trini como candidata a batirse en duelo con Aguirre.

La lección de todo ello es clara. Calle, proyecto y sonrisa. Pero sonrisa sincera; entendiendo que los que no son tristes, los que hacen de la alegría y el optimismo parte de su ADN político pueden llegar más lejos. Tanto como prestarse a hacer del diseño de un atrevido diseñador una curiosa anécdota. Un nuevo sabor para la comunicación.

Foto de Trinidad Jiménez en Flickr.

Anita Roddick: comercio con principios

Anita Roddick fue una de esas mujeres emprendedoras que aportaron su grano de arena para cambiar el mundo. Fue la fundadora de la cadena de productos de belleza The Body Shop y una comprometida activista en favor del medio ambiente y de los derechos de las comunidades más vulnerables por la globalización económica.

Creó una compañía exitosa, presente en decenas de países y que, en el momento de su venta –a la multinacional L’Oréal- alcanzó un valor de 980 millones de euros. De hecho, la polémica no estuvo exenta en esa operación: la activista que había unido fuerzas con Greenpeace para boicotear a petroleras como Exxon, acabó vendiendo su empresa sostenible y natural a una empresa poco compatible con sus valores.

En todo caso, Roddick dio un brillante discurso en Seattle en 1999, en el International Forum on Globalization; una organización multidisciplinar centrada en el análisis y la crítica al proceso de globalización. Un discurso en que abogó por un comercio más justo, pero sobretodo, más humano… con principios.

“We are in Seattle arguing for a world trade system that puts basic human rights and the environment at its core. We have the most powerful corporations of the world ranged against us. They own the media that informs us – or fails to inform us. And they probably own the politicians too.
It’s enough to make anybody feel a little edgy.

So here’s a question for the world trade negotiators. Who is the system you are lavishing so much attention on supposed to serve?

We can ask the same question of the gleaming towers of Wall Street or the City of London – and the powerful men and women who tinker with the money system which drives world trade. Who is this system for?

Let’s look more closely. Every day, the gleaming towers of high finance oversees a global flow of two trillion dollars through their computer screens. And the terrifying thing is that only three per cent of that – that’s, three hundredths – has anything to do with trade at all. Let alone free trade between equal communities.

The great global myth being that the current world trade system is for anything but money

It has everything to do with money. The great global myth being that the current world trade system is for anything but money.

The other 97 per cent of the two trillion is speculation. It is froth – but froth with terrifying power over people’s lives. Reducing powerless communities access to basic human rights can make money, but not for them. But then the system isn’t designed for them.

It isn’t designed for you and me either. We all of us, rich and poor, have to live with the insecurity caused by an out of control global casino with a built-in bias towards instability. Because it is instability that makes money for the money-traders.

“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest,” said John F Kennedy, “- but the myth – persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.” Asking questions can puncture these powerful myths.

I spend much of every year travelling around the world, talking to people in the front line of globalisation: women, community farmers, children. I know how unrealistic these myths are. Not just in developing countries but right under our noses.

Like the small farmers of the USA, 500 of which go out of business every week.

Half a century ago there were a million black farmers in the US. Now there are 1800. Globalisation means that the subsidies go to the big farms, while the small family farms – the heart of so many American communities – go to the wall.

Or the dark, cramped factories where people work for a pittance for 12 hour days without a day off. “The workers are not allowed to talk to each other and they didn’t allow us to go to the bathroom,” says one Asian worker in that garment factory. Not in Seoul. Not in Sao Paulo. But in San Francisco.

We have a world trading system that is blind to this kind of injustice. And as the powers of governments shrink this system is, in effect, our new unelected, uncontrollable world government. One that outlaws our attempts to >make things better.

According to the WTO, we don’t have the right to discriminate between tuna caught without killing dolphins and tuna caught by those who don’t care, don’t worry and don’t try.

According to the WTO, we have no right to hoard patented seeds from one harvest to plant the following year.

According to the WTO, we have no right to discriminate against beef with growth hormones.

According to the WTO, the livelihoods of the small-scale banana farmers of the Windward Islands are worthless – now facing ruin as the WTO favours the big US exporters

The truth is that the WTO, and the group of unelected trade officials who run it, are now the world’s highest court, with the right to overturn local laws and safety regulations wherever they say it ‘interferes with trade’.

It is government without heart, and without heart you find the creativity of the human spirit starts to dwindle too

This is world government by default, but it is a blind government. It looks at the measurements of money, but it can’t see anything else. It can recognise profits and losses, but it deliberately turns its face away from human rights, child labour or keeping the environment viable for future generations.

It is government without heart, and without heart you find the creativity of the human spirit starts to dwindle too.

Now there will be commentators and politicians by the truckload over the next week accusing us of wanting to turn the clock back. They will say we are parochial, inward-looking, xenophobic and dangerous.

But we must remind them what free trade really is. The truth is that ‘free trade’ was originally about the freedom of communities to trade equally with each other. It was never intended to be what it is today. A licence for the big, the powerful and the rich, to ride roughshod over the small, the weak and the poor.

And while we’re about it, let’s nail another myth.

Nobody could be more in favour of a global outlook than I am. Internationalism means that we can see into the dark corners of the world, and hold those companies to account when they are devastating forests or employing children as bonded labour. Globalisation is the complete opposite, its rules pit country against country and workers against workers in the blinkered pursuit of international competitiveness.

Internationalism means we can link together at local level across the world, and use our power as consumers. Working together, across all sectors, we can turn businesses from private greed to public good.

It means, even more important, that we can start understanding each other in a way that no generation has managed before.

Let’s be clear about this. It’s not trade we’re against, it’s exploitation and unchecked power.

I don’t pretend for a moment that we’re perfect at The Body Shop. Or that every one of our experiments work out – especially when it comes to building trading relationships that actually strengthen poor communities.

We are absolutely committed to increasing our trade with communities around the world, because this is the key – not just for our future, but the planet’s. It means that they trade to strengthen their local economy for profit, but not because their very survival depends on it.

Community trade will make us not a multi-national, but a multi-local. I hope we can measure our success in terms of our ability to show just what’s possible if a company genuinely opens a dialogue with communities.

Heaven knows, we’re not there yet. But this is real life, and all any of us can do is to make sure we are going in the right direction, and never lose our determination to improve.

The trouble is that the current trading system undermines anybody who tries.

Businesses which forego profits to build communities, or keep production local rather than employing semi-slaves in distant sweatshops, risk losing business to cheaper competitors without such commitments, and being targeted for take-over by the slash-and-burn corporate raiders. Reinforced by the weight of the WTO.

It’s difficult for all of us. But if we are going to change the world then nobody – not governments, not the media, not individuals – are going to get a free ride. And certainly not business, because business is now faster, more creative and far wealthier than governments ever were.

Business has to be a force for social change. It is not enough to avoid hideous evil – it must, we must, actively do good. If business stays parochial, without moral energy or codes of behaviour, claiming there are no such thing as values, then God help us all. If you think morality is a luxury business can’t afford, try living in a world without it.

So what should we do at this critical moment in world history? First, we must make sure this week that we lay the foundations for humanising world trade.

We must learn from our experience of what really works for poor countries, poor communities around the world. The negotiators this week must listen to these communities and allow these countries full participation and contribution to trade negotiations.

The rules have got to change. We need a radical alternative that puts people before profit. And that brings us to my second prescription. We must start measuring our success differently.

If politicians, businesses and analysts only measure the bottom line – the growth in money – then it’s not surprising the world is skewed.

Let’s measure the success of places and corporations against how much they enhance human well-being

It’s not surprising that the WTO is half-blind, recognising slash-and-burn corporations but not the people they destroy.

It’s not surprising that it values flipping hamburgers or making sweaters at 50 cents an hour as a valuable activity, but takes no account of those other jobs – the caring, educating and loving work that we all know needs doing if we’re going to turn the world into a place we want to live.

Let’s measure the success of places and corporations against how much they enhance human well-being. Body Shop was one of the first companies to submit itself to a social audit, and many others are now doing so.

Measuring what really matters can give us the revolution in kindness we so desperately need. That’s the real bottom line.

And finally, we must remember we already have power as consumers and as organisations forming strategic and increasingly influential alliances for change. They can insist on open markets as much as they like, but if consumers won’t buy, nothing on earth can make them. Just look at how European consumers have forced the biotech industry’s back up against the wall.

We have to be political consumers, vigilante consumers. With the barrage of propaganda served up to us every day, we have to be. We must be wise enough so that – whatever they may decide at the trade talks – we know where to put our energy and our money. No matter what we’re told or cajoled to do, we must work together to get the truth out in co-operation for the best, not competition for the cheapest.

By putting our money where our heart is, refusing to buy the products which exploit, by forming powerful strategic alliances, we will mould the world into a kinder more loving shape. And we will do so no matter what you decide this week.

Human progress is on our side.”

El extraño caso del político que siempre se equivocaba

Cuando Joan Clos abandonó el ministerio de Industria para asumir el cargo de embajador de España en Turquía, las declaraciones del nuevo titular del ministerio no volvieron a ser lo mismo. Con su marcha, los medios perdían al, quizás, político español que más gazapos era capaz de crear en sus intervenciones. Un patoso del lenguaje que, lo crean o no, no caía mal.

Precisamente, en un post anterior veíamos la importancia del acento en el mensaje, en la capacidad de comunicar. Los gazapos de Clos también tenían su valor. Porque su tarea no fue fácil: cuando Pasqual Maragall decidió dejar Catalunya para ir a su amada Roma, Clos se quedó al mando de la capital catalana. Y eso no fue tarea fácil.

Sustituir a un grande de la política catalana y española como Maragall, coger el relevo del alcalde olímpico, era algo titánico. Los tiempos no fueron fáciles. El cambio de siglo supuso la contestación del modelo y fracasos como el del Fòrum de les Cultures de 2004. Pese a ello, fue reelegido, votado; preferido.

Seguramente en ello influyó, además de la evidente penetración del PSC en el electorado de la ciudad, su carácter afable y esos gazapos. Esos lapsos al hablar. Ese aspecto de doctor loco, excéntrico. Algo que le humanizaba y acercaba a sus conciudadanos. Todos recordamos su promesa del cargo de ministro ante el Rey, en que erró en el nombre del ministerio. O cuando visitando a una conocida compañía automovilística, saludó a su anfitrión como si fuera el presidente de su inmediata competencia. Una forma de empatía que, dicho sea de paso, no le ha ido nada mal en su carrera.

Ahora, Clos emprende nuevos retos profesionales que le apartan aún más del foco. Acaba de ser nombrado director ejecutivo de la agencia del organismo especializada en la gestión y desarrollo integral de los asentamientos humanos (ONU-Hábitat). Nueva York y las Naciones Unidas son ahora su nuevo destino. Quizá esos errores sean, de nuevo, su puerta de entrada para empatizar con sus nuevos públicos.

Para los que quieran recordar más de esos errores, el programa de TV3 “El Club” recogió algunos de ellos en esta pieza de “mejores momentos” del ministro y alcalde.

Brasil lleva el debate electoral a la Red

No es país para debates. Por mucho que se empeñen algunos, España no es un país dado a los debates. Nuestra historia democrática nos muestra los cuatro debates en las elecciones generales como una anécdota más que una norma. Así, no es de extrañar que en algo que sí se han puesto de acuerdo los dos grandes partidos es, precisamente, en no regular este punto. Seguiremos a merced de la voluntad de los candidatos. Mejor, de las necesidades de la estrategia de cada partido.

Así, mientras España sigue sin dotarse de un consejo que los organice, de un acuerdo mayoritario para promoverlos; observamos con atención –y por qué no, cierta envidia- de experiencias en otros países que hacen del debate electoral una oportunidad de oro para conocer cómo razonan, cómo reaccionan, qué piensan y qué proponen los líderes políticos.

Y en ese nuevo mapa de los debates electorales, Internet es ya una parte destacada del nuevo escenario. Si los debates son básicos en una democracia, que éstos recurran a la Red para hacerlos más abiertos es una excelente noticia. Lo vimos en Estados Unidos durante la campaña presidencial, pero la última experiencia en Brasil es, sencillamente, impresionante.

Si durante la campaña en Estados Unidos YouTube facilitó a muchos ciudadanos poner preguntas sobre la mesa, el reciente debate en la Red entre los candidatos a suceder a Lula da Silva llegó a registrar más de un millón de conexiones, sin tener en cuenta el ruido generado en otros espacios. Y la cosa tiene su miga, porque el mercado potencial de seguidores en Brasil alcanza los 66 millones de usuarios.

El debate se retransmitió en directo por la Red –algo parecido a lo que el viceprimer ministro británico hizo esta semana- durante una hora y media, y pudo seguirse en la página de Folha –el medio organizador-, Twitter y Facebook. Tuvo seis bloques diferenciados. Al final del acto, varios usuarios pudieron poner sus preguntas en el centro del debate. Y los comentarios de periodistas enriquecieron el análisis.

La experiencia no es simple y tiene un punto interesante. No ya por lo novedoso que resulta que, algo tan importante como un debate electoral en unas elecciones trascendentales, se dé en un medio que no es el tradicional; sino también por la posibilidad que ese debate se haga más rico, más plural y más prolongado en el tiempo gracias a la propia conversación.

Cada vez son más este tipo de experiencias, la capacidad de agolpar nuevas audiencias en la Red y hacer que esas mismas personas puedan participar, no ya con las preguntas a los candidatos, sino en los debates paralelos que aumentan el impacto deseado. Pero sobretodo, aumentan la participación ciudadana en los asuntos públicos.

¿Llegaremos a debates similares en las próximas contiendas electorales en casa?

Poner el acento en el acento

A Montserrat Nebrera, ex diputada del PP catalán, no le gustaba el acento de la ex ministra de Fomento, Magdalena Álvarez. Juan Soler, portavoz adjunto del PP en la Asamblea de Madrid, cree que el acento andaluz de Trinidad Jiménez no es el más apropiado para una candidata a presidir la comunidad. Y mientras, todos recordamos la facilidad de Aznar de imitar acentos. “Estamos trabajando en ello”. Le salió del alma en un auténtico deje tejano que dejó a todos asombrados. ¿Tienen, los de Génova, algún problema serio con los acentos?

Seguramente no. Son casos aislados que muestran como en el calor de la batalla política a veces la exaltación nos lleva a la crítica burda y vacía de contenido político. Una persona no es mejor ni peor en la tarea de gobernar por uno u otro acento. Pero si comentarios de este tipo llegan a levantar ampollas es porque los acentos tienen una gran importancia en el proceso comunicativo.

Los acentos escuecen porque son importantes en la comunicación. Lo hemos visto en más de una ocasión: cuando lanzamos un mensaje es casi más importante lo que lo rodea que el mensaje en sí. O sea, que cuando hablamos, nuestra voz, nuestro tono, el acento, el ritmo, etc. conforman elementos que son más importantes para nuestro interlocutor que lo que estamos diciendo. Damos más información sobre la intención real de nuestro mensaje con ello.

La misma Álvarez a la que criticaba Nebrera no dudó en exigir al diputado de ICV Joan Herrera que si la imitaba, lo hiciera correctamente. Antes partía que doblá no era lo mismo que partida o doblada. Artur Mas afirma en el libro de Pilar Rahola que desearía tener un acento particular, un defecto en el habla; algo característico que le hubiese evitado la sátira del programa Polònia. Y puede que Montilla vea en su enigmático acento un punto de sorpresa que puede hasta favorecerle: el cordobés que en Madrid tiene acento catalán y cuando habla en catalán, un marcado acento castellano. Pese a él, llegó a Presidente.

Recapitulemos. ¿Sería lo mismo Felipe González sin su acento sevillano? ¿Sería su oratoria, su carisma y su personalidad política lo mismo sin ese deje sureño? Seguramente no. ¿Tenerlo le convierte en peor o mejor político? No. ¿Le convierte en mejor orador? Ni sí, ni no. Pero le marca. ¿Quería decir Soler que un candidato a la presidencia de Madrid debe hablar como los madrileños? Parece que sí. Y si era eso lo que quería decir, se equivocaba.

Por eso, introducir esa arista en el debate tiene su parte de miga. Madrid tiene ese punto de eclosión de acentos, sensibilidades y procedencia. Un lugar en el que rápidamente sabes que eres diferente, pero tan diferente como todos los que te rodean. No importa tu marcado acento catalán, porque el que te hable seguramente lo hará con la impronta de sus raíces gallegas. Y el que nos escuche, guardará en sus adentros un deje gaditano inconfundible. Así es Madrid. El que vota a Esperanza Aguirre también. Millones de votos que no saben de laísmos.

El hecho está en que los madrileños y madrileñas, gatos o de adopción, de paso o echando raíces, poca importancia le dan a ello. Por ello, se equivocan los que quieren convertir eso en un debate sobre la identidad, los genes, y las raíces. Pero no se equivocan al intuir la importancia de un acento en política, en establecer vínculos emocionales con los ciudadanos. Un acento envuelve un mensaje, una idea, una propuesta. ¿Quizás teman la dulzura de Trinidad contra el seco acento de Esperanza?

El discurso de Jesse Jackson en la Convención de 1984

Muchos recordamos las lágrimas que Jesse Jackson vertió la noche electoral de las elecciones presidenciales de 2008. La noche que Barack Obama se convirtió en el primer presidente electo afro americano de la historia del país, muchos pensaron en el reverendo que escuchaba su discurso en Chicago. No era para menos: fue el primer afro americano con opciones serias de ganar la nominación del Partido Demócrata para las presidenciales de 1984. Las mismas en las que Reagan vapuleó a Dukakis, el nominado.

Jackson es una pieza clave en la historia política americana. Un activista por los derechos civiles que llegó a senador y tuvo un relevante papel en algunas misiones diplomáticas y ayudó a ampliar la base de los Demócratas en los republicanos años 80 con la Rainbow Coalition que capitaneó.

El discurso que dirigió en la convención Demócrata de 1984 es una buena muestra de esa coalición, de ese espíritu de superar rencillas y unir al partido, optar por un cambio en la dirección del país sumando. ¿Les suena?

Tonight we come together bound by our faith in a mighty God, with genuine respect and love for our country, and inheriting the legacy of a great Party, the Democratic Party, which is the best hope for redirecting our nation on a more humane, just, and peaceful course.

This is not a perfect party. We are not a perfect people. Yet, we are called to a perfect mission. Our mission: to feed the hungry; to clothe the naked; to house the homeless; to teach the illiterate; to provide jobs for the jobless; and to choose the human race over the nuclear race.

We are gathered here this week to nominate a candidate and adopt a platform which will expand, unify, direct, and inspire our Party and the nation to fulfill this mission. My constituency is the desperate, the damned, the disinherited, the disrespected, and the despised. They are restless and seek relief. They have voted in record numbers. They have invested the faith, hope, and trust that they have in us. The Democratic Party must send them a signal that we care. I pledge my best not to let them down.

There is the call of conscience, redemption, expansion, healing, and unity. Leadership must heed the call of conscience, redemption, expansion, healing, and unity, for they are the key to achieving our mission. Time is neutral and does not change things. With courage and initiative, leaders change things.

No generation can choose the age or circumstance in which it is born, but through leadership it can choose to make the age in which it is born an age of enlightenment, an age of jobs, and peace, and justice. Only leadership — that intangible combination of gifts, the discipline, information, circumstance, courage, timing, will and divine inspiration — can lead us out of the crisis in which we find ourselves. Leadership can mitigate the misery of our nation. Leadership can part the waters and lead our nation in the direction of the Promised Land. Leadership can lift the boats stuck at the bottom.

I have had the rare opportunity to watch seven men, and then two, pour out their souls, offer their service, and heal and heed the call of duty to direct the course of our nation. There is a proper season for everything. There is a time to sow and a time to reap. There’s a time to compete and a time to cooperate.

I ask for your vote on the first ballot as a vote for a new direction for this Party and this nation — a vote of conviction, a vote of conscience. But I will be proud to support the nominee of this convention for the Presidency of the United States of America. Thank you.

I have watched the leadership of our party develop and grow. My respect for both Mr. Mondale and Mr. Hart is great. I have watched them struggle with the crosswinds and crossfires of being public servants, and I believe they will both continue to try to serve us faithfully.

I am elated by the knowledge that for the first time in our history a woman, Geraldine Ferraro, will be recommended to share our ticket.

Throughout this campaign, I’ve tried to offer leadership to the Democratic Party and the nation. If, in my high moments, I have done some good, offered some service, shed some light, healed some wounds, rekindled some hope, or stirred someone from apathy and indifference, or in any way along the way helped somebody, then this campaign has not been in vain.

For friends who loved and cared for me, and for a God who spared me, and for a family who understood, I am eternally grateful.

If, in my low moments, in word, deed or attitude, through some error of temper, taste, or tone, I have caused anyone discomfort, created pain, or revived someone’s fears, that was not my truest self. If there were occasions when my grape turned into a raisin and my joy bell lost its resonance, please forgive me. Charge it to my head and not to my heart. My head — so limited in its finitude; my heart, which is boundless in its love for the human family. I am not a perfect servant. I am a public servant doing my best against the odds. As I develop and serve, be patient: God is not finished with me yet.

This campaign has taught me much; that leaders must be tough enough to fight, tender enough to cry, human enough to make mistakes, humble enough to admit them, strong enough to absorb the pain, and resilient enough to bounce back and keep on moving.

For leaders, the pain is often intense. But you must smile through your tears and keep moving with the faith that there is a brighter side somewhere.

I went to see Hubert Humphrey three days before he died. He had just called Richard Nixon from his dying bed, and many people wondered why. And I asked him. He said, “Jesse, from this vantage point, the sun is setting in my life, all of the speeches, the political conventions, the crowds, and the great fights are behind me now. At a time like this you are forced to deal with your irreducible essence, forced to grapple with that which is really important to you. And what I’ve concluded about life,” Hubert Humphrey said, “When all is said and done, we must forgive each other, and redeem each other, and move on.”

“We must forgive each other, and redeem each other, and move on”

Our party is emerging from one of its most hard fought battles for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in our history. But our healthy competition should make us better, not bitter. We must use the insight, wisdom, and experience of the late Hubert Humphrey as a balm for the wounds in our Party, this nation, and the world. We must forgive each other, redeem each other, regroup, and move one. Our flag is red, white and blue, but our nation is a rainbow — red, yellow, brown, black and white — and we’re all precious in God’s sight.

America is not like a blanket — one piece of unbroken cloth, the same color, the same texture, the same size. America is more like a quilt: many patches, many pieces, many colors, many sizes, all woven and held together by a common thread. The white, the Hispanic, the black, the Arab, the Jew, the woman, the native American, the small farmer, the businessperson, the environmentalist, the peace activist, the young, the old, the lesbian, the gay, and the disabled make up the American quilt.

Even in our fractured state, all of us count and fit somewhere. We have proven that we can survive without each other. But we have not proven that we can win and make progress without each other. We must come together.

From Fannie Lou Hamer in Atlantic City in 1964 to the Rainbow Coalition in San Francisco today; from the Atlantic to the Pacific, we have experienced pain but progress, as we ended American apartheid laws. We got public accommodations. We secured voting rights. We obtained open housing, as young people got the right to vote. We lost Malcolm, Martin, Medgar, Bobby, John, and Viola. The team that got us here must be expanded, not abandoned.

Twenty years ago, tears welled up in our eyes as the bodies of Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney were dredged from the depths of a river in Mississippi. Twenty years later, our communities, black and Jewish, are in anguish, anger, and pain. Feelings have been hurt on both sides. There is a crisis in communications. Confusion is in the air. But we cannot afford to lose our way. We may agree to agree; or agree to disagree on issues; we must bring back civility to these tensions.

We are co-partners in a long and rich religious history — the Judeo-Christian traditions. Many blacks and Jews have a shared passion for social justice at home and peace abroad. We must seek a revival of the spirit, inspired by a new vision and new possibilities. We must return to higher ground. We are bound by Moses and Jesus, but also connected with Islam and Mohammed. These three great religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, were all born in the revered and holy city of Jerusalem.

We are bound by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Heschel, crying out from their graves for us to reach common ground. We are bound by shared blood and shared sacrifices. We are much too intelligent, much too bound by our Judeo-Christian heritage, much too victimized by racism, sexism, militarism, and anti-Semitism, much too threatened as historical scapegoats to go on divided one from another. We must turn from finger pointing to clasped hands. We must share our burdens and our joys with each other once again. We must turn to each other and not on each other and choose higher ground.

Twenty years later, we cannot be satisfied by just restoring the old coalition. Old wine skins must make room for new wine. We must heal and expand. The Rainbow Coalition is making room for Arab Americans. They, too, know the pain and hurt of racial and religious rejection. They must not continue to be made pariahs. The Rainbow Coalition is making room for Hispanic Americans who this very night are living under the threat of the Simpson-Mazzoli bill; and farm workers from Ohio who are fighting the Campbell Soup Company with a boycott to achieve legitimate workers’ rights.

The Rainbow is making room for the Native American, the most exploited people of all, a people with the greatest moral claim amongst us. We support them as they seek the restoration of their ancient land and claim amongst us. We support them as they seek the restoration of land and water rights, as they seek to preserve their ancestral homeland and the beauty of a land that was once all theirs. They can never receive a fair share for all they have given us. They must finally have a fair chance to develop their great resources and to preserve their people and their culture.

The Rainbow Coalition includes Asian Americans, now being killed in our streets — scapegoats for the failures of corporate, industrial, and economic policies.

The Rainbow is making room for the young Americans. Twenty years ago, our young people were dying in a war for which they could not even vote. Twenty years later, young America has the power to stop a war in Central America and the responsibility to vote in great numbers. Young America must be politically active in 1984. The choice is war or peace. We must make room for young America.

The Rainbow includes disabled veterans. The color scheme fits in the Rainbow. The disabled have their handicap revealed and their genius concealed; while the able-bodied have their genius revealed and their disability concealed. But ultimately, we must judge people by their values and their contribution. Don’t leave anybody out. I would rather have Roosevelt in a wheelchair than Reagan on a horse.

The Rainbow is making room for small farmers. They have suffered tremendously under the Reagan regime. They will either receive 90 percent parity or 100 percent charity. We must address their concerns and make room for them. The Rainbow includes lesbians and gays. No American citizen ought be denied equal protection from the law.

We must be unusually committed and caring as we expand our family to include new members. All of us must be tolerant and understanding as the fears and anxieties of the rejected and the party leadership express themselves in many different ways. Too often what we call hate — as if it were some deeply-rooted philosophy or strategy — is simply ignorance, anxiety, paranoia, fear, and insecurity. To be strong leaders, we must be long-suffering as we seek to right the wrongs of our Party and our nation. We must expand our Party, heal our Party, and unify our Party. That is our mission in 1984.

We are often reminded that we live in a great nation — and we do. But it can be greater still. The Rainbow is mandating a new definition of greatness. We must not measure greatness from the mansion down, but the manger up. Jesus said that we should not be judged by the bark we wear but by the fruit that we bear. Jesus said that we must measure greatness by how we treat the least of these.

President Reagan says the nation is in recovery. Those 90,000 corporations that made a profit last year but paid no federal taxes are recovering. The 37,000 military contractors who have benefited from Reagan’s more than doubling of the military budget in peacetime, surely they are recovering. The big corporations and rich individuals who received the bulk of a three-year, multibillion tax cut from Mr. Reagan are recovering. But no such recovery is under way for the least of these.

Rising tides don’t lift all boats, particularly those stuck at the bottom. For the boats stuck at the bottom there’s a misery index. This Administration has made life more miserable for the poor. Its attitude has been contemptuous. Its policies and programs have been cruel and unfair to working people. They must be held accountable in November for increasing infant mortality among the poor. In Detroit one of the great cities of the western world, babies are dying at the same rate as Honduras, the most underdeveloped nation in our hemisphere. This Administration must be held accountable for policies that have contributed to the growing poverty in America. There are now 34 million people in poverty, 15 percent of our nation. 23 million are White; 11 million Black, Hispanic, Asian, and others — mostly women and children. By the end of this year, there will be 41 million people in poverty. We cannot stand idly by. We must fight for a change now.

Under this regime we look at Social Security. The ’81 budget cuts included nine permanent Social Security benefit cuts totaling 20 billion over five years. Small businesses have suffered under Reagan tax cuts. Only 18 percent of total business tax cuts went to them; 82 percent to big businesses. Health care under Mr. Reagan has already been sharply cut. Education under Mr. Reagan has been cut 25 percent. Under Mr. Reagan there are now 9.7 million female head families. They represent 16 percent of all families. Half of all of them are poor. 70 percent of all poor children live in a house headed by a woman, where there is no man. Under Mr. Reagan, the Administration has cleaned up only 6 of 546 priority toxic waste dumps. Farmers’ real net income was only about half its level in 1979.

Many say that the race in November will be decided in the South. President Reagan is depending on the conservative South to return him to office. But the South, I tell you, is unnaturally conservative. The South is the poorest region in our nation and, therefore, [has] the least to conserve. In his appeal to the South, Mr. Reagan is trying to substitute flags and prayer cloths for food, and clothing, and education, health care, and housing.

Mr. Reagan will ask us to pray, and I believe in prayer. I have come to this way by the power of prayer. But then, we must watch false prophecy. He cuts energy assistance to the poor, cuts breakfast programs from children, cuts lunch programs from children, cuts job training from children, and then says to an empty table, “Let us pray.” Apparently, he is not familiar with the structure of a prayer. You thank the Lord for the food that you are about to receive, not the food that just left. I think that we should pray, but don’t pray for the food that left. Pray for the man that took the food to leave. We need a change. We need a change in November.

Under Mr. Reagan, the misery index has risen for the poor. The danger index has risen for everybody. Under this administration, we’ve lost the lives of our boys in Central America and Honduras, in Grenada, in Lebanon, in nuclear standoff in Europe. Under this Administration, one-third of our children believe they will die in a nuclear war. The danger index is increasing in this world. All the talk about the defense against Russia; the Russian submarines are closer, and their missiles are more accurate. We live in a world tonight more miserable and a world more dangerous.

While Reaganomics and Reaganism is talked about often, so often we miss the real meaning. Reaganism is a spirit, and Reaganomics represents the real economic facts of life. In 1980, Mr. George Bush, a man with reasonable access to Mr. Reagan, did an analysis of Mr. Reagan’s economic plan. Mr. George Bush concluded that Reagan’s plan was ”voodoo economics.” He was right. Third-party candidate John Anderson said “a combination of military spending, tax cuts, and a balanced budget by ’84 would be accomplished with blue smoke and mirrors.” They were both right.

Mr. Reagan talks about a dynamic recovery. There’s some measure of recovery. Three and a half years later, unemployment has inched just below where it was when he took office in 1981. There are still 8.1 million people officially unemployed; 11 million working only part-time. Inflation has come down, but let’s analyze for a moment who has paid the price for this superficial economic recovery.

Mr. Reagan curbed inflation by cutting consumer demand. He cut consumer demand with conscious and callous fiscal and monetary policies. He used the Federal budget to deliberately induce unemployment and curb social spending. He then weighed and supported tight monetary policies of the Federal Reserve Board to deliberately drive up interest rates, again to curb consumer demand created through borrowing. Unemployment reached 10.7 percent. We experienced skyrocketing interest rates. Our dollar inflated abroad. There were record bank failures, record farm foreclosures, record business bankruptcies; record budget deficits, record trade deficits.

Mr. Reagan brought inflation down by destabilizing our economy and disrupting family life. He promised — he promised in 1980 a balanced budget. But instead we now have a record 200 billion dollar budget deficit. Under Mr. Reagan, the cumulative budget deficit for his four years is more than the sum total of deficits from George Washington to Jimmy Carter combined. I tell you, we need a change.

How is he paying for these short-term jobs? Reagan’s economic recovery is being financed by deficit spending — 200 billion dollars a year. Military spending, a major cause of this deficit, is projected over the next five years to be nearly 2 trillion dollars, and will cost about 40,000 dollars for every taxpaying family. When the Government borrows 200 billion dollars annually to finance the deficit, this encourages the private sector to make its money off of interest rates as opposed to development and economic growth.

Even money abroad, we don’t have enough money domestically to finance the debt, so we are now borrowing money abroad, from foreign banks, governments and financial institutions: 40 billion dollars in 1983; 70-80 billion dollars in 1984 — 40 percent of our total; over 100 billion dollars — 50 percent of our total — in 1985. By 1989, it is projected that 50 percent of all individual income taxes will be going just to pay for interest on that debt. The United States used to be the largest exporter of capital, but under Mr. Reagan we will quite likely become the largest debtor nation.

About two weeks ago, on July the 4th, we celebrated our Declaration of Independence, yet every day supply-side economics is making our nation more economically dependent and less economically free. Five to six percent of our Gross National Product is now being eaten up with President Reagan’s budget deficits. To depend on foreign military powers to protect our national security would be foolish, making us dependent and less secure. Yet, Reaganomics has us increasingly dependent on foreign economic sources. This consumer-led but deficit-financed recovery is unbalanced and artificial. We have a challenge as Democrats to point a way out.

Democracy guarantees opportunity, not success.

Democracy guarantees the right to participate, not a license for either a majority or a minority to dominate.

The victory for the Rainbow Coalition in the Platform debates today was not whether we won or lost, but that we raised the right issues. We could afford to lose the vote; issues are non-negotiable. We could not afford to avoid raising the right questions. Our self-respect and our moral integrity were at stake. Our heads are perhaps bloody, but not bowed. Our back is straight. We can go home and face our people. Our vision is clear.

When we think, on this journey from slave-ship to championship, that we have gone from the planks of the Boardwalk in Atlantic City in 1964 to fighting to help write the planks in the platform in San Francisco in ’84, there is a deep and abiding sense of joy in our souls in spite of the tears in our eyes. Though there are missing planks, there is a solid foundation upon which to build. Our party can win, but we must provide hope which will inspire people to struggle and achieve; provide a plan that shows a way out of our dilemma and then lead the way.

In 1984, my heart is made to feel glad because I know there is a way out — justice. The requirement for rebuilding America is justice. The linchpin of progressive politics in our nation will not come from the North; they, in fact, will come from the South. That is why I argue over and over again. We look from Virginia around to Texas, there’s only one black Congressperson out of 115. Nineteen years later, we’re locked out of the Congress, the Senate and the Governor’s mansion. What does this large black vote mean? Why do I fight to win second primaries and fight gerrymandering and annexation and at-large [elections]. Why do we fight over that? Because I tell you, you cannot hold someone in the ditch unless you linger there with them. Unless you linger there.

If you want a change in this nation, you enforce that Voting Rights Act. We’ll get 12 to 20 Black, Hispanics, female and progressive congresspersons from the South. We can save the cotton, but we’ve got to fight the boll weevils. We’ve got to make a judgment. We’ve got to make a judgment.

It is not enough to hope ERA will pass. How can we pass ERA? If Blacks vote in great numbers, progressive Whites win. It’s the only way progressive Whites win. If Blacks vote in great numbers, Hispanics win. When Blacks, Hispanics, and progressive Whites vote, women win. When women win, children win. When women and children win, workers win. We must all come up together. We must come up together.

Thank you.

For all of our joy and excitement, we must not save the world and lose our souls. We should never short-circuit enforcing the Voting Rights Act at every level. When one of us rise[s], all of us will rise. Justice is the way out. Peace is the way out. We should not act as if nuclear weaponry is negotiable and debatable.

In this world in which we live, we dropped the bomb on Japan and felt guilty, but in 1984 other folks [have] also got bombs. This time, if we drop the bomb, six minutes later we, too, will be destroyed. It’s not about dropping the bomb on somebody. It is about dropping the bomb on everybody. We must choose to develop minds over guided missiles, and think it out and not fight it out. It’s time for a change.

Our foreign policy must be characterized by mutual respect, not by gunboat diplomacy, big stick diplomacy, and threats. Our nation at its best feeds the hungry. Our nation at its worst, at its worst, will mine the harbors of Nicaragua, at its worst will try to overthrow their government, at its worst will cut aid to American education and increase the aid to El Salvador; at its worst, our nation will have partnerships with South Africa. That’s a moral disgrace. It’s a moral disgrace. It’s a moral disgrace.

We look at Africa. We cannot just focus on Apartheid in Southern Africa. We must fight for trade with Africa, and not just aid to Africa. We cannot stand idly by and say we will not relate to Nicaragua unless they have elections there, and then embrace military regimes in Africa overthrowing democratic governments in Nigeria and Liberia and Ghana. We must fight for democracy all around the world and play the game by one set of rules.

Peace in this world. Our present formula for peace in the Middle East is inadequate. It will not work. There are 22 nations in the Middle East. Our nation must be able to talk and act and influence all of them. We must build upon Camp David, and measure human rights by one yard stick. In that region we have too many interests and too few friends.

“There is a way out — jobs. Put America back to work”

There is a way out — jobs. Put America back to work. When I was a child growing up in Greenville, South Carolina, the Reverend Sample used to preach every so often a sermon relating to Jesus. And he said, “If I be lifted up, I’ll draw all men unto me.” I didn’t quite understand what he meant as a child growing up, but I understand a little better now. If you raise up truth, it’s magnetic. It has a way of drawing people.

With all this confusion in this Convention, the bright lights and parties and big fun, we must raise up the simple proposition: If we lift up a program to feed the hungry, they’ll come running; if we lift up a program to study war no more, our youth will come running; if we lift up a program to put America back to work, and an alternative to welfare and despair, they will come working.

If we cut that military budget without cutting our defense, and use that money to rebuild bridges and put steel workers back to work, and use that money and provide jobs for our cities, and use that money to build schools and pay teachers and educate our children and build hospitals and train doctors and train nurses, the whole nation will come running to us.

As I leave you now, we vote in this convention and get ready to go back across this nation in a couple of days. In this campaign, I’ve tried to be faithful to my promise. I lived in old barrios, ghettos, and reservations and housing projects. I have a message for our youth. I challenge them to put hope in their brains and not dope in their veins. I told them that like Jesus, I, too, was born in the slum. But just because you’re born in the slum does not mean the slum is born in you, and you can rise above it if your mind is made up. I told them in every slum there are two sides. When I see a broken window — that’s the slummy side. Train some youth to become a glazier — that’s the sunny side. When I see a missing brick — that’s the slummy side. Let that child in the union and become a brick mason and build — that’s the sunny side. When I see a missing door — that’s the slummy side. Train some youth to become a carpenter — that’s the sunny side. And when I see the vulgar words and hieroglyphics of destitution on the walls — that’s the slummy side. Train some youth to become a painter, an artist — that’s the sunny side.

We leave this place looking for the sunny side because there’s a brighter side somewhere. I’m more convinced than ever that we can win. We will vault up the rough side of the mountain. We can win. I just want young America to do me one favor, just one favor. Exercise the right to dream. You must face reality — that which is. But then dream of a reality that ought to be — that must be. Live beyond the pain of reality with the dream of a bright tomorrow. Use hope and imagination as weapons of survival and progress. Use love to motivate you and obligate you to serve the human family.

Young America, dream. Choose the human race over the nuclear race. Bury the weapons and don’t burn the people. Dream — dream of a new value system. Teachers who teach for life and not just for a living; teach because they can’t help it. Dream of lawyers more concerned about justice than a judgeship. Dream of doctors more concerned about public health than personal wealth. Dream of preachers and priests who will prophesy and not just profiteer. Preach and dream!

Our time has come. Our time has come. Suffering breeds character. Character breeds faith. In the end, faith will not disappoint. Our time has come. Our faith, hope, and dreams will prevail. Our time has come. Weeping has endured for nights, but now joy cometh in the morning. Our time has come. No grave can hold our body down. Our time has come. No lie can live forever. Our time has come. We must leave racial battle ground and come to economic common ground and moral higher ground. America, our time has come. We come from disgrace to amazing grace. Our time has come. Give me your tired, give me your poor, your huddled masses who yearn to breathe free and come November, there will be a change because our time has come.

De Palomares a Florida: dar ejemplo en tiempos de crisis

Cuando el malvado señor Burns, el hombre más rico de Springfield y dueño de la central nuclear de la ciudad inventada por Matt Groening, decidió presentarse a las elecciones a gobernador por el partido Republicano, no podía imaginar que un sólo detalle, una reacción personal, podría costarle la victoria. Ni todo el dinero invertido, la palabrería y el reciclaje de su imagen pudieron con el trozo de pescado que escupió en directo ante las televisiones de todo el estado.

Lisa y Marge Simpson, las demócratas y ecologistas de la familia, urdieron la trama para servir a Burns un pez de tres ojos mutado por la contaminación de su central. Burns lo escupió con asco. Una victoria electoral puede trabajarse durante meses con esfuerzo y dinero, pero puede perderse por una reacción. Por ello, un político se arriesga a perder toda su credibilidad cuando se atreve con según qué cosas. Especialmente cuando tienen entre manos temas de alarma social.

Nuestros líderes dan ejemplo de forma constante. Están sometidos al escrutinio de medios y ciudadanos y saben que todo lo que hagan tendrá consecuencias. Para bien o para mal. Así, su actuación parece necesaria cuando ciertos temas alcanzan al gran público. Cuando los poderes públicos aseguran algo pero la inmensa mayoría de la ciudadanía cree la contraria.

Catástrofes naturales, riesgos sanitarios, alertas alimenticias, proyectos percibidos por la ciudadanía como peores que otras alternativas… este tipo de situaciones necesitan un respaldo público y notorio de los responsables políticos para poder recuperar la confianza.

¿Por qué necesitamos ver a un político bañarse en aguas contaminadas o comer un alimento que ha sido vetado por el imaginario colectivo? Necesitamos comprobar en las carnes de los que prescriben que lo que recomiendan, dictan o afirman es cierto. Es una necesidad lógica de ver que lo que dicen es cierto. Es, sin duda, uno de los momentos más interesantes de la comunicación pública puesto que es la persona, con sus sentimientos y sus reacciones la que debe reforzar su mensaje. Escupir la comida, como Burns, puede suponer el hundimiento, no ya de la imagen del político, sino de industrias, intereses o formas de vida que viven tras esas situaciones límite.

Por ello, no es extraño ver al presidente Obama y su hija Sasha bañándose en las aguas del Golfo de México que se han visto afectadas por el desastre petrolero de BP. Este fin de semana el matrimonio presidencial y su hija acudieron a Panama City y mostraron su apoyo a la zona, que está sufriendo los efectos económicos del vertido. La Casa Blanca ha circulado la imagen de padre e hija en las aguas, un mensaje inequívoco de apoyo a la zona y de minimización de los efectos para la salud pública.

Otro baño muy parecido tuvo lugar en España en Palomares. El protagonista, el ministro de Información y Turismo de la dictadura franquista, Manuel Fraga. El 17 de enero de 1966 un B52 del ejército norteamericano, cargado con armas nucleares, colisionó en la localidad almeriense con un avión de reaprovisionamiento. Las bombas termonucleares que iban a bordo se repartieron entre tierra y mar. Dos de las cuatro bombas quedaron intactas pero las otras dos detonaron esparciendo unos 20 kg de plutonio altamente radioactivo por los alrededores.

Así, el 9 de marzo de ese mismo año, Manuel Fraga se bañó en Palomares junto al embajador norteamericano para mostrar al mundo que no existía ningún riesgo. Pese a ello, aún hoy Palomares es la localidad más radioactiva de España y la contaminación en la zona fue profusa. En todo caso, ese baño fue el respaldo necesario para la zona y para la tranquilidad de una sociedad que nunca supo a ciencia cierta lo ocurrido, gracia y obra de la dictadura franquista y de la información ocultada de forma deliberada al gobierno español por parte de las autoridades norteamericanas.

A medio camino entre Florida y Palomares encontramos el atracón de ternera que sufrió el entonces ministro de Agricultura del gobierno del PP, Miguel Arias Cañete. Cuando el vacuno español se vio afectado, como el de otros países europeos, por la encefalopatía espongiforme bovina, conocida como “el mal de las vacas locas”, el ministro tuvo que salir en defensa de los intereses del sector mostrando que era seguro comer ese tipo de carne. Y resultó muy creíble. El recurso comunicativo de ver a alguien que se introduce en su organismo algo que es juzgado como nocivo, tiene un gran efecto.

En ese sentido y próximo al ejemplo de Arias Cañete, encontramos al president de la Generalitat de Catalunya y su conseller de Medio Ambiente, Francesc Baltasar, que no dudaron en beber un vaso de agua tratada en la desalinizadora que inauguraron en el Prat en 2009 ante las cámaras.

Dar ejemplo puede llevar a los responsables hasta a engrosar su carné de vacunación. La consellera de Sanidad catalana, Marina Geli, apareció ante los medios en plena tormenta por la Gripe A –la pandemia que recientemente ha sido borrada del mapa y cuyo pánico llegó a límites insospechados- siendo vacunada. Otro ejemplo de la exposición a los riesgos como vía de contención de una alarma.

Sin duda, este tipo de casos ilustran las múltiples opciones de las que disponen los políticos para hacer frente a una situación de crisis. La información veraz, pertinente y a tiempo se da por descontado –aunque no sea así en la mayoría de los casos-, pero el ejemplo cunde. Quizás porque los hilos de plastilina, tomando la frase prestada a Rajoy, no estuvieron presentes en el atril de la sala de prensa de la Casa Blanca, ver como el presidente se baña en el océano es aún más creíble.

No me gusta que a los toros te pongas el cinturón

La decisión del Parlament de Catalunya de prohibir las corridas de toros en el territorio catalán ha iniciado un debate con múltiples aristas. Algunos razonamientos, fundados en el interés de promover un sosegado debate. Otras –las más- salpicadas por la demagogia más rancia. Y en medio, algunas ingeniosas estampas que no han pasado desapercibidas. Como el último vídeo de Rajoy. ¿Se pueden mezclar toros y la seguridad vial sin salir corneado?

Resulta curioso. Más allá de los gestos del nacionalismo español que encarna el PP, con el anuncio de llevar al Congreso una resolución para proteger la fiesta nacional, el debate a raíz de la decisión del Parlament ha discurrido en el ámbito del binomio libertad-prohibición. La libertad de elegir ir o no ir a los toros contra la prohibición de la muerte y tortura de un animal para regocijo de los asistentes. Rajoy nos recuerda su postura, sin decir nada, en su vídeo prevacacional: los toros de Osborne que decoran centenares de carreteras en España son el símbolo de esa defensa de la fiesta.

Pero también en el mismo vídeo vemos a Rajoy, que fue ministro del Interior, sin el perceptivo cinturón de seguridad. Muchos nos hemos quedado con eso que el líder de la oposición haga caso omiso de las normas y ponga en riesgo su vida y la de sus acompañantes, pero pocos parecen haber recabado en un debate existente en varios países, especialmente en Estados Unidos. ¿Atenta contra la libertad individual el uso obligatorio del cinturón?

Y ahí es donde llega el detalle sublime de ese vídeo que, seguramente, no tenía intención de llegar a las cotas de popularidad y polémica que ha alcanzado, con disculpas públicas del propio Rajoy por infringir de forma manifiesta. La defensa velada de ese derecho a la libertad en el caso de los toros pero el sometimiento en lo que respecta al cinturón. En un caso la libertad está por encima del espectáculo de la muerte pero en el otro no.

El tema del cinturón de seguridad no es un issue en España como sí lo es en Estados Unidos o Argentina. Ahí existen movimientos que afirman que llevar el cinturón de seguridad atenta contra la libertad del individuo, aunque el riesgo más inminente pueda ser la muerte. De hecho, en 2008 se salvaron 13.000 vidas en la UE gracias a este mecanismo. ¿En qué momento, para las personas, prevalece el derecho a la seguridad a la propia libertad para el PP y no para los animales en la fiesta nacional?

Estas pueden ser algunas de las perversiones en el debate cuando dejamos al azar algunos detalles importantes al elaborar una pieza de comunicación, como esa ausencia del cinturón en Rajoy. Pero no nos alarmemos. El aspirante a suceder a Zapatero en la Moncloa no es el único político español que no usa el cinturón. De hecho, estoy convencido que muchos de los que le han saltado a la yugular tampoco lo usan. En estos vídeos podemos ver a Saura en un spot de campaña de 2003 sin él. Y en este otro corte, a Pujol en su coche oficial también haciendo caso omiso de este elemento de seguridad.

Rajoy ni ganará ni perderá las elecciones por esta anécdota. Tampoco las ganará o las perderá Montilla por llevar a sus hijos a un colegio privado y defender políticamente a la escuela pública. Muchas se han rasgado las vestiduras estos días a cuenta de esto sin ver lo que hacen ello o lo que hacen los suyos. Pero quizás en el fondo lo que más se ha echado de menos es una voz como la de Mas que cree que los políticos deben dar ejemplo, tal y como se desprende del libro de Pilar Rahola. Dar ejemplo.

Quizás Rajoy debería empezar usando el cinturón, sin duda. Pero sería más importante que empezará por dar ejemplo de debates sosegados y fundamentados en el sí de su partido. ¿Por qué debe prevalecer la libertad en ir a ver los toros y no en llevar o no el cinturón sin miedo a ser sancionados? Dar ejemplo, sin duda.

“O están con nosotros. O están con los terroristas”

El 20 de septiembre de 2001, nueve días más tarde del ataque terrorista a las Torres Gemelas en Nueva York, el presidente Bush se dirigió al Congreso en sesión conjunta. El tejano, que había sido elegido bajo la duda del fraude electoral y que era percibido como un novato sin experiencia en política exterior y defensa, dio el paso adelante que necesitaba su presidencia. En ese discurso marcó la política exterior norteamericana para su mandato. La lucha contra el terror, como pretexto para tantos abusos como luego cometieron, tuvo su puesta de largo en este impresionante discurso de George W. Bush.

“We Are a Country Awakened to Danger and Called to Defend Freedom.”

Mr. Speaker, Mr. President Pro Tempore, members of Congress, and fellow Americans, in the normal course of events, presidents come to this chamber to report on the state of the union. Tonight, no such report is needed; it has already been delivered by the American people.

We have seen it in the courage of passengers who rushed terrorists to save others on the ground. Passengers like an exceptional man named Todd Beamer. And would you please help me welcome his wife, Lisa Beamer, here tonight?

We have seen the state of our union in the endurance of rescuers working past exhaustion.

We’ve seen the unfurling of flags, the lighting of candles, the giving of blood, the saying of prayers in English, Hebrew and Arabic.

We have seen the decency of a loving and giving people who have made the grief of strangers their own.

My fellow citizens, for the last nine days, the entire world has seen for itself the state of our union, and it is strong.

Tonight, we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.

I thank the Congress for its leadership at such an important time.

All of America was touched on the evening of the tragedy to see Republicans and Democrats joined together on the steps of this Capitol singing “God Bless America.”

And you did more than sing. You acted, by delivering $40 billion to rebuild our communities and meet the needs of our military. Speaker [Dennis] Hastert, Minority Leader [Richard] Gephardt, Majority Leader [Thomas] Daschle and Senator [Trent] Lott, I thank you for your friendship, for your leadership and for your service to our country.

And on behalf of the American people, I thank the world for its outpouring of support.

America will never forget the sounds of our national anthem playing at Buckingham Palace, on the streets of Paris and at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate.

We will not forget South Korean children gathering to pray outside our embassy in Seoul, or the prayers of sympathy offered at a mosque in Cairo.

We will not forget moments of silence and days of mourning in Australia and Africa and Latin America.

Nor will we forget the citizens of 80 other nations who died with our own. Dozens of Pakistanis, more than 130 Israelis, more than 250 citizens of India, men and women from El Salvador, Iran, Mexico and Japan, and hundreds of British citizens.

America has no truer friend than Great Britain.

Once again, we are joined together in a great cause.

I’m so honored the British prime minister had crossed an ocean to show his unity with America. Thank you for coming, friend.

On September the 11th, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country. Americans have known wars, but for the past 136 years they have been wars on foreign soil, except for one Sunday in 1941. Americans have known the casualties of war, but not at the center of a great city on a peaceful morning.

Americans have known surprise attacks, but never before on thousands of civilians.

All of this was brought upon us in a single day, and night fell on a different world, a world where freedom itself is under attack.

Americans have many questions tonight. Americans are asking, “Who attacked our country?”

The evidence we have gathered all points to a collection of loosely affiliated terrorist organizations known as al Qaeda. They are some of the murderers indicted for bombing American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and responsible for bombing the USS Cole.

Al Qaeda is to terror what the Mafia is to crime. But its goal is not making money, its goal is remaking the world and imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere.

The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics, a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam.

The terrorists’ directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews, to kill all Americans and make no distinctions among military and civilians, including women and children.

This group and its leader, a person named Osama bin Laden, are linked to many other organizations in different countries, including the Egyptian Islamic Jihad [and] the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

There are thousands of these terrorists in more than 60 countries.

They are recruited from their own nations and neighborhoods and brought to camps in places like Afghanistan, where they are trained in the tactics of terror. They are sent back to their homes or sent to hide in countries around the world to plot evil and destruction.

The leadership of al Qaeda has great influence in Afghanistan and supports the Taliban regime in controlling most of that country. In Afghanistan we see al Qaeda’s vision for the world. Afghanistan’s people have been brutalized, many are starving and many have fled.

Women are not allowed to attend school. You can be jailed for owning a television. Religion can be practiced only as their leaders dictate. A man can be jailed in Afghanistan if his beard is not long enough.

The United States respects the people of Afghanistan — after all, we are currently its largest source of humanitarian aid — but we condemn the Taliban regime.

It is not only repressing its own people, it is threatening people everywhere by sponsoring and sheltering and supplying terrorists.

By aiding and abetting murder, the Taliban regime is committing murder. And tonight the United States of America makes the following demands on the Taliban:

Deliver to United States authorities all of the leaders of al Qaeda who hide in your land.

Release all foreign nationals, including American citizens, you have unjustly imprisoned. Protect foreign journalists, diplomats and aid workers in your country. Close immediately and permanently every terrorist training camp in Afghanistan. And hand over every terrorist and every person and their support structure to appropriate authorities.

Give the United States full access to terrorist training camps, so we can make sure they are no longer operating.

These demands are not open to negotiation or discussion. The Taliban must act and act immediately. They will hand over the terrorists or they will share in their fate.

I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It’s practiced freely by many millions of Americans and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah.

The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself.

The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends. It is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists and every government that supports them.

Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there.

It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.

Americans are asking, “Why do they hate us?”

They hate what they see right here in this chamber: a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.

They want to overthrow existing governments in many Muslim countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. They want to drive Israel out of the Middle East. They want to drive Christians and Jews out of vast regions of Asia and Africa.

These terrorists kill not merely to end lives, but to disrupt and end a way of life. With every atrocity, they hope that America grows fearful, retreating from the world and forsaking our friends. They stand against us because we stand in their way.

We’re not deceived by their pretenses to piety. We have seen their kind before. They’re the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions, by abandoning every value except the will to power, they follow in the path of fascism, Nazism and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way to where it ends in history’s unmarked grave of discarded lies.

Americans are asking, “How will we fight and win this war?”

We will direct every resource at our command — every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war — to the destruction and to the defeat of the global terror network.

Now, this war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.

Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes visible on TV and covert operations secret even in success.

We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place until there is no refuge or no rest.

And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.

From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime. Our nation has been put on notice. We’re not immune from attack. We will take defensive measures against terrorism to protect Americans.

Today, dozens of federal departments and agencies, as well as state and local governments, have responsibilities affecting homeland security.

These efforts must be coordinated at the highest level. So tonight, I announce the creation of a Cabinet-level position reporting directly to me, the Office of Homeland Security.

And tonight, I also announce a distinguished American to lead this effort, to strengthen American security: a military veteran, an effective governor, a true patriot, a trusted friend, Pennsylvania’s Tom Ridge.

He will lead, oversee and coordinate a comprehensive national strategy to safeguard our country against terrorism and respond to any attacks that may come.

These measures are essential. The only way to defeat terrorism as a threat to our way of life is to stop it, eliminate it and destroy it where it grows.

Many will be involved in this effort, from FBI agents, to intelligence operatives, to the reservists we have called to active duty. All deserve our thanks, and all have our prayers.

And tonight a few miles from the damaged Pentagon, I have a message for our military: Be ready. I have called the armed forces to alert, and there is a reason.

The hour is coming when America will act, and you will make us proud.

This is not, however, just America’s fight. And what is at stake is not just America’s freedom.

This is the world’s fight. This is civilization’s fight. This is the fight of all who believe in progress and pluralism, tolerance and freedom.

We ask every nation to join us.

We will ask and we will need the help of police forces, intelligence services and banking systems around the world. The United States is grateful that many nations and many international organizations have already responded with sympathy and with support — nations from Latin America to Asia to Africa to Europe to the Islamic world.

Perhaps the NATO charter reflects best the attitude of the world: An attack on one is an attack on all. The civilized world is rallying to America’s side.

They understand that if this terror goes unpunished, their own cities, their own citizens may be next. Terror unanswered can not only bring down buildings, it can threaten the stability of legitimate governments.

And you know what? We’re not going to allow it.

Americans are asking, “What is expected of us?”

I ask you to live your lives and hug your children.

I know many citizens have fears tonight, and I ask you to be calm and resolute, even in the face of a continuing threat.

I ask you to uphold the values of America and remember why so many have come here.

We’re in a fight for our principles, and our first responsibility is to live by them. No one should be singled out for unfair treatment or unkind words because of their ethnic background or religious faith.

I ask you to continue to support the victims of this tragedy with your contributions. Those who want to give can go to a central source of information, libertyunites.org, to find the names of groups providing direct help in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The thousands of FBI agents who are now at work in this investigation may need your cooperation, and I ask you to give it. I ask for your patience with the delays and inconveniences that may accompany tighter security and for your patience in what will be a long struggle.

I ask [for] your continued participation and confidence in the American economy. Terrorists attacked a symbol of American prosperity; they did not touch its source.

America is successful because of the hard work and creativity and enterprise of our people. These were the true strengths of our economy before September 11th, and they are our strengths today.

And finally, please continue praying for the victims of terror and their families, for those in uniform and for our great country. Prayer has comforted us in sorrow and will help strengthen us for the journey ahead.

Tonight I thank my fellow Americans for what you have already done and for what you will do.

And, ladies and gentlemen of the Congress, I thank you, their representatives, for what you have already done and for what we will do together.

Tonight we face new and sudden national challenges.

We will come together to improve air safety, to dramatically expand the number of air marshals on domestic flights and take new measures to prevent hijacking.

We will come together to promote stability and keep our airlines flying with direct assistance during this emergency.

We will come together to give law enforcement the additional tools it needs to track down terror here at home.

We will come together to strengthen our intelligence capabilities to know the plans of terrorists before they act and to find them before they strike.

We will come together to take active steps that strengthen America’s economy and put our people back to work.

Tonight, we welcome two leaders who embody the extraordinary spirit of all New Yorkers, Governor George Pataki and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. As a symbol of America’s resolve, my administration will work with Congress and these two leaders to show the world that we will rebuild New York City.

After all that has just passed, all the lives taken and all the possibilities and hopes that died with them, it is natural to wonder if America’s future is one of fear.

Some speak of an age of terror. I know there are struggles ahead and dangers to face. But this country will define our times, not be defined by them.

As long as the United States of America is determined and strong, this will not be an age of terror. This will be an age of liberty here and across the world.

Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great loss. And in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment.

Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom, the great achievement of our time and the great hope of every time, now depends on us.

Our nation, this generation, will lift the dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter and we will not fail.

It is my hope that in the months and years ahead life will return almost to normal. We’ll go back to our lives and routines, and that is good.

Even grief recedes with time and grace.

But our resolve must not pass. Each of us will remember what happened that day and to whom it happened. We will remember the moment the news came, where we were and what we were doing.

Some will remember an image of a fire or story or rescue. Some will carry memories of a face and a voice gone forever.

And I will carry this: It is the police shield of a man named George Howard who died at the World Trade Center trying to save others.

It was given to me by his mom, Arlene, as a proud memorial to her son. It is my reminder of lives that ended and a task that does not end.

I will not forget the wound to our country and those who inflicted it. I will not yield, I will not rest, I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people.

The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.

Fellow citizens, we’ll meet violence with patient justice, assured of the rightness of our cause and confident of the victories to come.

In all that lies before us, may God grant us wisdom and may He watch over the United States of America.

Thank you.